Hiring a Financial Planner

Are you interested in meeting with a financial planner?

If you’re ready to seek the services of a financial professional, keep these things in mind during your search.

1. Review their credentials. Financial professionals in Canada may have the following designations:

CFA – Chartered Financial Analyst®

CFP – Certified Financial Planner™

ChFC – Chartered Financial Consultant®

CIM – Chartered Investment Manager®

CLU – Chartered Life Underwriter®

CMP – Certified Management Professional

RFP – Registered Financial Planner®

TEP – Trust and Estate Practitioner

CFPs and RFPs don’t typically sell financial products and will instead guide you through your savings and investment strategies.

2. Talk to them ahead of time. It’s important to feel comfortable when working with your planner. Call your list of potential planners and ask if they have a minimum financial requirement. Many require clients to have more than a specific amount to invest. Then, set up meetings with two or three of them to see if you click. Compile a list of questions about their qualifications, fee structure and charges, other services, etc.

3. Learn more about their fee structure. Some professionals charge a fee, while others charge a percentage of your assets or earn their income through commission. Ask about their fee structure and ensure you understand.

• Fee-only: Professionals who require a fee for service or charge by the hour. This is common for ones who serve smaller investors.

• Commission-based: Professionals who are paid through commissions or service charges.

• Asset-based: Professionals who charge fees on a percentage of your portfolio.

4. Write down your questions ahead of time so you can get the most out of your visit. This will save you and your financial professional time in the long run.

5. Bring your financial information to your meeting. If it’s your first time meeting with them, bring income and savings information, current investments, etc. If you’ve met with them before, be sure to provide them with any updated income information and make them aware of any other changes. Your financial planner can use this data to help you revise your goals and offer new savings and investment options.

5 Questions to Ask Your Financial Planner

1. What is your experience and what are your qualifications?

2. What services do you offer?

3. Will you be my primary planner or will I work with other planners in your office as well?

4. How much do you charge? What is your fee structure? Do you charge a fee or work on commission

5. Have you been disciplined for unlawful or unethical actions in your professional career?